To give priority to other legal initiatives, President Boric has refused, for the time being, to undertake the political reforms necessary for the consolidation of democracy. However, this postponement will certainly lead to municipal and legislative elections that will perpetuate the existing vices and abuses that prevent the full exercise of popular sovereignty. The experience of recent years shows the urgent need to adopt reforms that will put the brakes on elite politics and give citizens a greater say in the political, economic, and cultural development of the nation.

It is a matter of reviewing what has happened to numerous parliamentarians, mayors, and others who, in the course of their functions, have resigned from the collectives that nominated them as candidates. At the same time, we can see the complete lack of modesty of the supposed representatives of the people when it comes to trying to perpetuate themselves in their positions through fake negotiations in which it is now very difficult to distinguish between the ruling and opposition parties, the right and the left. It was only by one vote that the supporters of the executive managed to install a new table in the Chamber of Deputies because an opposition deputy arrived late to vote.

To this end, obscure arrangements were made within the Moneda itself, even persuading one of the deputies most questioned by his colleagues to agree to sit as vice-president alongside the first Communist in history to reach that parliamentary seat. This led, twenty-four hours later, to a vote of no confidence which, thanks to fresh executive interference, failed to secure the votes needed to bring down the newly elected members.

It is said that democracy is about voting and that those who win can legitimize themselves with a one-vote advantage, but the truth is that the agreement reached was very weak and unreliable due to the ethical insolvency of some of those who agreed to lead the lower house. It is an open secret that Boric himself was elected not so much for his track record and convictions, but to prevent a greater evil, as was expected from the triumph of his opponents. This explains why, a few months before the renewal of the legislative power and two years before the new presidential elections, the parties are in a frenzy and the strangest and even most repugnant alliances are already being discussed to return to a right-wing government or to give continuity to those who currently govern us.

The political parties have shown themselves to be completely unpredictable in their ideologies and actions, which is why the electoral map is populated by expressions with little or no popular roots. Dozens of referents hope to join any pact if it leads them to share in the spoils or the distribution of public posts, fiscal resources, and numerous prerogatives.

This is why, as soon as the current government took office, millions of euros in tax fraud were discovered by those who, a few months earlier, had promised to clean up politics, just as scandals continue to be uncovered at the local level thanks to the role of honorable journalists and the denunciations of the citizens themselves. In this way, those who came to clean things up very quickly became embroiled in all the mischief perpetrated by the post-dictatorship governments, from the right to the left. It is clear that if voting were voluntary, very few people would go to the polls, given the general discrediting of politics and the corruption that reigns at all levels of public administration. This includes the judiciary, the armed forces, and the police, where many officers, judges, and prosecutors are under suspicion, and where there are many investigations which, as has happened so many times before, are likely to end in impunity.

There is an urgent need to abolish the entire party system, so that only those collectives constituted at the national or, at best, regional level will prevail, and the multiple and insolvent expressions will disappear. It also seems necessary that those elected as members of the various parties should be obliged to remain in them for the entire duration of their term of office. Or, failing that, they should be obliged to leave their posts to declare themselves “independent” or to join another party.

There are also those who advocate the prohibition of electoral pacts, so that all the parties can compete and demonstrate their true representativeness, which today is impossible to know, for example, how many of them are socialists, communists, Christian democrats, frenteamplistas or supporters of the numerous right-wing parties in Chile, where there is real ideological confusion, although the common origin of the latter is Pinochettism.

In addition to their declarations of principles, parties should be obliged to clearly state their government programmes. This would oblige those who reach La Moneda, parliament or the municipalities to fulfil their commitments and be accountable for them. To this end, the law should also establish quick ways of dismissing those who do not comply or who change their position according to the influence exerted on them by the powers that be, especially the most powerful businessmen who tend to assume the role of party financiers. In the corruption that so many now acknowledge exists in the country.

Among many other reforms, it would also make sense to limit the executive’s right of initiative, in order to make the legislators in Parliament, who often sit on their hands or go along with their dalliances when La Moneda does not challenge them in this sense, more sensible. Citizens should be able to propose reforms and laws that oblige the authorities to implement them, as has often been suggested. Moreover, popular consultations should be frequent and effective, as in countries such as Switzerland, which have a much more consistent democratic system in this area.

Although progress has been made in controlling electoral spending, the truth is that the fate of our political system still depends too much on the economic power of its actors, as well as on the influence of a communication system that tends towards media concentration and conspires against the diversity of information, a fundamental pillar of any serious democracy. Nor has the political class shown any willingness to correct this situation.

Even less so when they arrive at La Moneda, where practice shows that they prefer to “charm” the existing media rather than strengthen ideological pluralism.